Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Esther Larson Willman passed away peacefully on June 14, 2013, at her daughter’s home in Traverse City. It was a beautiful day with sunshine, blue sky and West Grand Bay sparkling like diamonds.
Born April 1, 1913, in Chicago, Ill., to Swedish immigrants, she had three brothers and sisters.
Esther moved to Traverse City with her husband Dr. Wallace Willman in 1946, where he started his medical practice. Together they raised three children, all who now have returned to Traverse City.
She is survived by her children, Dr. Donald Willman his wife, Karen and their daughter, Lauren; Dr. Margaret Willman and her husband, David Foley, who were the main care takers for mom; Lynne Moon and John Nelson, their daughters, Christa and Peter Lortie, of Atlanta, Ga., Erica and Brian Mohr, of Traverse City, and Sonja and Bill Allen, of Telluride, Colo. Esther had six great-grandchildren Ella, Kali and Avery Lortie, of Atlanta, Ga., Dillyn and Brady Mohr, of Traverse City, and Parker West Allen, of Telluride, Colo. Esther also had two German exchange students, Holger and Peter Friesel, who lived with the family for a year each.
Esther was very active in the League of Women Voters, serving two years as president. She was also the vice president of the PTA for Central Grade School, president of the Osteopathic Women’s Auxiliary and a member of the Great Book Club.
We will remember mom, grandma and great-grandma as bright, well spoken, intellectually stimulating with a great sense of humor. She will always be remembered for her passion for reading, sometimes up to five books a week and usually falling asleep with one on her lap. She was a great advocate for getting all the education you could receive.
Esther’s love of travel took her around the world. She always told wonderful tales of meeting the people of the world.
In April 2013 Esther celebrated her 100th birthday at the Traverse City Golf and Country Club. She entertained 75 friends with whom she laughed and enjoyed her party.
A heartfelt thank you from our family to Kathy and Joan for your love and care of our mother. We will all treasure the fact that you both cared so dearly for her.
Our family will celebrate Esther’s life in July and together laugh, cry, and remember the grand lady that Esther was.
Please visit www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com to share your condolences and memories with the family.
The family is being served by Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.